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[cnfractal_music] Re: POLL: What Direction should Fractal Musicbe going?...

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  • Phil Thompson
    David, Wow, I m flattered...! Glad you re part of the group by the way... I was a little concerned by Phil J s remarks about GB - Phil s very generous with
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 27, 1999
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      Wow, I'm flattered...! Glad you're part of the group by the way...

      I was a little concerned by Phil J's remarks about GB - Phil's very generous
      with compliments - maybe too generous! But in hyping GB so much I don't
      think he meant to infer that other systems are any less remarkable - after
      all, he's probably the most experienced of all of us regarding packages and
      he uses them all with a passion. I suspect it had more to do with the fact
      that Phil's a big confidante of mine, and he knows I've been through a few
      personal hassles recently, so was trying to cheer me up. I think he'd be
      horrified if he thought anybody had taken his remarks as meaning GB is
      literally the leader in the field - I certainly don't think that - I don't
      believe there is such a package - as I previously said, every package out
      there has unique features. And every user has a unique way of using them.
      For a 'genre' of music the diversity of material being produced is
      incredible. I often play with ArtSong myself, for example... but I've not
      used it in a proper

      Previous remarks about live instrumentation... I agree and disagree. It's
      horses for courses, I think. For example: I regard Jarre's "Oxygene" as a
      classic. But listen to The Shadows' guitar-based cover version of it and
      you'd be mortified. Likewise, I can't imagine anybody purely using
      synthesisers to convincingly cover something by Clapton or Satriani. So
      there are cases where never the twain shall meet, and rightly so. (How
      awful would Vangelis' vast and synthetic opening theme to "Blade Runner" be
      if a guitar solo were added to it?). But then again, there are times when
      synths aren't enough. When a guitar isn't enough. When put together, it's
      a matter of finding a balance.

      That's the reason I didn't continue with X-Foundation - the gig went well,
      and I was honoured to be on stage with some exceptionally talented
      professional musicians. But I didn't feel the balance was right. Neville
      Malcolm, for example, is an utterly superb double-bass player, wonderful
      stuff which added a lot to the material. But also, on occasion I felt that
      the material was out of balance a little, particularly when you consider
      fractals are particularly great for basslines themselves. I think there's a
      danger in regarding synthesisers as purely "accompaniment", yet artists like
      Jarre and Oldfield have proved that that needn't be the case. To my mind
      the ideal would be a perfect balance between synthesisers and acoustics -
      where the keyboard parts are as prominent as the other instruments and not
      just used as a little embellishment. I can think of very few artists who
      have really achieved that - it's a difficult task.

      As for me, I'd be happy to go on producing purely synthetic stuff. The
      first OC CD was deliberately done so, on a bare minimum of equipment,
      because I wanted to make the point of what you can do these days with very
      little paraphenalia. I had the option of using some very top-range
      orchestral modules when producing "A Season in Hell", for example, but chose
      to use mainly just a SoundCanvas because I preferred the sounds being
      slightly synthetic and false. Producing it so it sounded like a real
      symphony would have missed the point that it ISN'T an orchestral piece.
      However, through a chance meeting on the Net I now have an opportunity to
      work with Anita - she works mainly in soul and jazz here, but is very
      radical in her thinking, and she sees this project as an opportunity to
      really explore her own range. So I'm very excited about it because I feel
      she and I both will end up with an album that is a result of a really unique
      contrast of styles - and something neither of us would have done had we not
      met. One thing's for sure, it won't be a typical female vocal plus backing

      Anyway... I'd better go... stuff to do.

      Hugs to all...

      Phil T :-)
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